Turning 40 with Reckless Abandon and Building a Life Outside the Mainstream

When she was in her 20s, Terre Short was about to buy a washer and dryer, but that felt like too much responsibility so she bought a ticket to the South Pacific instead. The ensuing “tumbles” around the world built her confidence for – years later – building a life with her husband and two kids that was far-removed from the mainstream. Homeschooling before it was mainstream. Splitting time between locations long before digital nomadism. Following their hearts and their dreams, kids in tow.

Guest Bio

Terre Short, MBA, is an author, speaker, coach, and creator of Thriving Leader Collaborative. She believes that truly authentic leadership is achieved when we embrace our inner wisdom to overcome business challenges. As a NeuroMindfulness Practitioner, Terre lives at the intersection of wellbeing and leadership and has spent the last decade advising high performing Fortune 500 leaders on how to explore intuitive pathways to sustained success. Terre is the author of The Words We Choose: Your Guide to How and Why Words Matter.

Turning 40 with Reckless Abandon and Building a Life Outside the Mainstream

Terre was fortunate that she and her husband had always worked together to support each other’s dreams. So, in their late 30s, they found themselves moving towards what she and her husband felt was right for them, which was homeschooling their two kids so they could split their time between California and Idaho with long breaks in New Zealand. 

For others considering stepping off the beaten path, Terre advises to stick with it. “If you know in your heart that this experience will be good for them in the long run, then stick with it.” 

Her kids are in their mid-20s now and building lives that suit themselves and sustain themselves. 

Terre cautions that if you want your life to be different in five or 10 years, you must take control of your internal narrative and decide which stories no longer serve you. Then, take those stories that do serve you, elaborate on them and move in the direction of where you want to be. 

Sponsor

The Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications

Find Terre online at www.ThrivingLeaderCollaborative.com 

Contact Terre at Terre@ThrivingLC.com

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Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from the Ick. www.fortydrinks.com/ick

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Transcript

Terre: Hi Terre. Thanks so much for being here today.

Hey Steph. I'm delighted to be here today.

Stephanie: I found as I was doing a little bit of digital stalking of you before we talked you just had a big birthday.

Terre: I did. I did. You can't hide anything these days.

Stephanie: You really can't. You really can't. You just turned 60 last week.

Terre: I did.

Stephanie: Happy birthday.

Terre: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Stephanie: One of my favorite things to say to people is, congratulations on your new high score,

Terre: Exactly. What I like to say is when people say, "Oh my gosh, what's that like?" Or, "What was that traumatic?" I'm like, well, what about the alternative?

Stephanie: Oh yeah, beats the alternative. My mom has said that for decades, yes, since we were kids, beats the alternative. But here's my question about turning 60. The thing that I found on Instagram, you had a spectacular post of you, I'm guessing your kids. there were four of you and you did the perfect jump and snap the picture at the perfect point in time. You all look fabulous. Great posture, great shapes you're making. How did you make that happen?

Terre: You're killing me that you found that. I love it. Well, we had a couple takes and my husband is a photographer, so you have a few things to clarify there. And, yeah, we had a few takes and we just had super fun doing it. So it was my son, my daughter, he's 26, she's 25, and my daughter's fiance. So fun, fun, fun.

Stephanie: so your, your husband was actually behind the camera ta actively taking the picture. This wasn't a timer or anything.

Terre: Oh, no, no. Yeah. No, but you, you too can do it.

Stephanie: No, no, I can't. No, I can't. And actually, this is why I needed to ask you the question. Um, he's gonna kill me, but I, I have to do this. When we went on our honeymoon, my husband and I went to a beautiful little tiny, quiet, sleepy island called Nevis down in the Caribbean.

Terre: I've been there.

Stephanie: You have?

Terre: I have indeed.

Stephanie: We loved it.. oh my God. We loved it. We were there like a week or two outside of season, so it was really quiet. And as a matter of fact, the resort we were staying at had this beautiful pool. They were up on the mountain, so we spent most of our days up there. But one of the days we went down to the beach and we had the beach a hundred percent to ourselves. It was us and the bartender. So it was great. He delivered pina coladas to our little side tables and shaved the fresh nutmeg open right on top. I mean it was spectacular.

Terre: Wow. Yeah.

Stephanie: So at some point in the afternoon, I said to my husband, I wanna take one of these pictures, I wanna do one of these like jumping pictures. I had a little tripod or whatever, I set up the cell phone set it up on a tripod and we got in front of it and we figured out how far away we needed to be. I set the timer and we were watching it countdown. And all of a sudden we jump. And I have to tell you, it is the most unflattering picture that either of us has ever taken in our lives. It's to the point where when I talk about this picture, when I see this picture, I just devolve into guffaws laughing. It's so bad that literally we've never showed anyone. But a couple of years ago, I printed it out and we have in our bedroom, we have a little like wall with some photos and stuff on it. And one of the photos is just a great photo of us, but it's in a glass frame and I taped it to the back so that occasionally I can flip the frame over and he'll come in the room and he, it might take him days, but then all of a sudden he'll see it and he'll just go like, ha, I mean, Terre,

Terre: I love it,

Stephanie: it is so bad. I'm not sharing it anywhere, so don't anybody ever ask, but trust me, it is the most unflattering thing we've ever done in our lives. So when I saw that you not only got you but four people in such fabulous. As a matter of fact, when I share this episode, that is one of the pictures I'm gonna share with it just so that we can tie in the story, but, anyway, happy birthday.

Terre: Thank you so much. And here's another tip: take a video and then clip out exactly the part that you want. Just saying.

Stephanie: Where were you seven years ago when I needed that? Because I will never get him to try that again, because trust me, we're no more limber, nor are we any thinner than we were seven years ago.

Terre: That's hilarious. Oh my gosh. I love it. Love it.

Stephanie: Okay. So now that we've done some photo tips for the audience, that's great. Let's delve in a little bit. You and I were talking, just before we came on here and you were saying that each decade is an opportunity to have some reflection, look back and sort of think about where you've been and where you're going, of course. I normally focus on this 35 to 45 range. This transition that is so pivotal in people's lives because it really does go from, we've built a life based on what everybody told us we should to, we're building the life that suits us perfectly in the one that we choose.

Terre: Mm.

Stephanie: And it sounds like you guys did that, like turned up to 11.

Terre: Well, maybe. We had no idea, Steph, while we were doing it, whether it was turned up to 11 or even if it was a four , right. When you're in it, hard to say.

Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Let's start a little bit earlier. You were about 32 and you had a hospitality career that you left.

Terre: Yeah, so I was with Four Seasons Hotels, I was on the GM track. That's how I get to Nevis, there's the Four Seasons there.

Stephanie: There sure is.

Terre: Yeah, it was brand new then. So anyway, I'm on the GM track and I'm moving up nicely and such.I was in San Francisco to begin with, then DC. I was meant to be GM, or at least like right under the GM was the next step and I wanted to get back to California and they kept coming out with Chicago and I was like, great, that starts with a C, but Chicago is not California . So I eventually leave the company. I had lived my most of my twenties in San Francisco and now I was in DC and when I was in San Francisco, I went to Carmel and Monterey a lot, and what struck me there was that it was somewhere where the flowers bloomed year-round. So when they gave me a big bonus this particular year and I thought, I'm moving to where the flowers bloom year-round. That's it. To be fair, I was in the process of getting unmarried. I'd gotten married at 26, so I moved to where the flowers bloomed year-round Carmel, and I take six months off.

So this is an important part of my story. I've periodically taken six months off, and I think that's really a healthy thing to do. It's a scary thing to do, but it's served me well, once I get over the scary part. I tease my kids that I was the original gap year person, I did it at 20 as well, a little more than six months. So, back to California I go. I was what I would call off men at the time. I start working after that six months at Pebble Beach Company and I meet my husband. So when that happens, things started to feel different, you know. I hit 30 and I started to, you know, that clock thing, am I gonna have kids? You know, just the pressure started to build when I hit 30. At least that's how I felt it. So we get married and when we're thinking about having kids, I thought, wait a minute, wait a minute, how do I wanna do this? I certainly don't wanna be working like I'm working now. And so I intentionally started my own business, like in the nick of time, it was a very just in time situation 'cause I had my son less than a year later, maybe nine months later. So that was my early thirties. I think I was 32 when I had him, and then my daughter right behind. I wanted to kind of get this baby thing happening. So I was very planned. It was very contemplated, let's say. And next thing you know, we've got two kids that are 15 months apart.

Stephanie: Okay.

Terre: So they're toddlers. I'm doing my business. Word of mouth. It was really quite lovely. And, the lovely part about it is, my niche was very high end hotels and resorts, and I was doing leadership training. And Steph, I got to the point where I'd say, Hmm, you know, I need to come do a spotters report first, before I can help you. And so I'd leave my toddlers and I tell my husband, I better go check this place out for a solid four days. Yeah, it was all good.

Stephanie: That was pretty sneaky that for you to build breaks into having two little ones.

Terre: It was good. No, it was really good. So we're doing that for just a couple years, and so they were three and four when he has the opportunity to manage a fly fishing lodge in what I lovingly refer to as the middle of nowhere Idaho.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm.

Terre: And so the next thing you know, we go there. And we are only gonna go for the summers. We buy a house. So we actually did spend one winter there, but for five summers now I'm mid thirties to late thirties, and got the kids and we're gonna do this lifestyle back and forth. And the next thing you know, we think, well, how's that gonna work with school and such? So homeschooling occurred to us and we started doing that and it just really at that point a series of decisions start unfolding as we're going. And, at any given time, if somebody would've said, well, and actually people did, we call them parents. If somebody would've said, is that so wise? And what about a 401k? And what about this and what about that? Then we would've responded in an unsure manner, but we kept moving towards what felt right and I truly understand that on a deeper level now. And to be fair, I have a partner that we're very much aligned. Very much aligned. So when we said we're gonna homeschool and we're gonna do this lifestyle, we were in it together for sure.

Stephanie: So your kids, you said, are 25 and 26. So this is like almost 20 years ago. When I was a kid, homeschooling was a weird thing. Like you were suspicious of people who homeschooled and now it's a completely different world and people homeschool for all kinds of great and different and various reasons. How was homeschooling 20 years ago? Was it starting to become mainstream or was it still sort of weird and suspicious?

Terre: It was weird and suspicious, but it depended on where we were. The six months we were in California, it was accepted and it was cool. I'm in Monterey, California. We connected with groups in Santa Cruz. A lot of those people have been at it for a long time. We got to Idaho, not so much yeah. And it's interesting, people would say to us, Ooh, aren't you worried about socialization? And our response became, yes, indeed we are. That's why we're homeschooling them.

Stephanie: Oh,

Terre: Because what was going on in schools was not pleasant. And you know, we have some of that going on now. So the lifestyle of back and forth sort of dictated it in a way. We couldn't put 'em in a school for a couple months and then, in the fall because we go May to October and so we would've had to put 'em in school in the fall and then come to California. So that was just wasn't gonna work. The decision kind of made itself and then we were all in and we did a program that allowed us to be anywhere 'cause it was online and that was beautiful. Then we joined groups and such and they did extracurricular things just like any kids would and they loved it. We did it through the sixth grade,

Stephanie: You what? Oh, you did it through the sixth grade?

Terre: Yeah. So I did K through three, that was the easy part. And my husband did four, five, and six because of a role that I took on. And then they went to what they called real school. We thought it was real all along, but they went there in the seventh grade.

Stephanie: Wow.

Terre: Mm.

Stephanie: All right. I wanna go back. You're in California, you own your own business, you're doing leadership training for high-end hospitality, and your husband gets an opportunity to go to Idaho to manage a fishing lodge. Can you take me back to some of those conversations? It must have seemed impossible at first. It must have seemed, either I can't do this or you can't do that, right? How did you go from, well, it's either my career or your career to creating this lifestyle that was millions of years before digital nomads?

Terre: Exactly. It's super hard for the kids to understand that. Like I couldn't even get from A to B with a GPS, I needed a map.

Stephanie: An actual paper map.

Terre: Yeah. That's such a great question. First of all, he was, at the time, he was managing the Post Ranch Inn, one of the well-known high-end resorts on the Big Sur coast. And he kept saying that he wanted to manage a fly fishing lodge. He loves to fly fish and he would just say it and say it, and I'd think, well, wait a minute, we gotta, we gotta plan for that. Like, let's knuckle down. If we really wanna do that, let's manifest that. So we got a book about the, I don't know, it was like a hundred fly fishing lodges in the United States, it might have been the world. And first we sent out both of our resumes 'cause we had both been in the business. Now remember we have a three and a four year old, that's kind of the crazy part and we send out these resumes and the response was well beyond our expectation. Then the gentleman that ends up hiring him in Idaho and then hiring him because then once we started in the interview process, we were like, well, wait. How would that work 'cause we still have these toddlers? Maybe we were a little in denial about that.

Stephanie: Right.

Terre: And so we just said, okay, if that's what we wanna do, we're gonna make it happen. We're gonna figure out how to make it happen. That was his lifelong dream and I was all in. So to your point, we've always moved with each other's dreams. Like, I want to do this, all right, and how can I do this as a compliment to what you do and as it ends up, that's how the homeschooling worked. I homeschool schooled, May through October, so not so much in the summer. And then in the winter he'd pick it up because I'd be out doing my business. I only booked clients in the winter. So this whole thing that went down, once we moved towards it and kept walking through doors that were opening, then we orchestrated it to work for us.

Stephanie: One of the things my dad always used to say about me was that I was great at identifying opportunities and grabbing onto them. I'm not a planner. I'm not somebody who has a five year plan or a one year plan or a 10 year plan. I just always kind of follow my nose. And it sounds like there was a bit of that. Clearly you had one of the big pieces in place in that you owned your own business. That's much more flexible and portable than working for the man somewhere at a location. So that was an interesting piece to already have put in place. So one, you were aligned, two, you jumped in together, and then you just followed your noses.

Terre: That's right. And it sort of like the ying and the yang of it. Right. And so we did it for five years and we turned 40 while doing this back and forth well he turned 40 in middle of nowhere, Idaho. I was in California for mine. Anyway, while that's going on, when we get towards the end of it, I think our son was about eight ish. Yeah. Eight. Eight or nine Really? And my parents came to visit and he's talking to my father. So like, Grandpa's asking him the thing grandpa's ask every kid is, what do you wanna be when you grow up? Right? He's eight years old. So he says, Steph, he goes, "Well, Grandpa, I think that in the spring I'd like to be a biologist and in the summer and maybe the fall, I'd like to be an archeologist. And in the winter I would be a chemist because you know, the weather's bad and it's better to be indoors. And in the spring the babies are being," born 'cause he is going to Yellowstone a lot and seeing baby wolves and baby bears.

My father looks at me and he says, "What the heck, like, fix this. Like he can't do that." And I said, "Well, you know, I actually live in a place where by the time he's old enough to make those decisions, he can do that. That there will be a ways for us to move around and, and choose differently." My father had done the same thing for decades upon decades, right? So it didn't make sense to him. And so that gave us pause, now I'm like 40 going, whoa, whoa, whoa. Are we doing the right thing? Maybe it's a little crazy. And in the end we stayed true to what felt right and what we believed would benefit us and the children. And, and it has.

Stephanie: I'm amazed at this. So this is the great thing about this transition between first adulthood and second adulthood is that you create, you develop confidence in your own decisions and your own heart and your own space, versus when we're younger in that, you know, 18 to 20, whenever we leave home to sometime between 35 and 45, a lot of our lives we develop because we should.

Terre: Right.

Right

Stephanie: People have told us, and these people, the people that we, that are telling us things normally want the best for us, and so they're giving us their opinion on what will help us be successful and happy, all of those things. But it's their opinion and our lives, and I think for a lot of people that 20 to 40 part of your life, you do build a life around should and the things that in your case, the straight and narrow, the job. In other cases it's the career we choose and the people we choose and the relationships we have and all of those things. And so how did you guys go from the safety and solidity of a traditional, straightforward kind of life to how did you have that confidence in yourself to go way outside the lines.

Terre: Yeah, it's a great question. So what I wanna say is reckless abandon

Stephanie: Okay. And there's probably a big part of that.

Terre: Well, here's the interesting thing, if my husband was on this podcast too, he would say "It was all her," right? When he said, "This is my dream, I wanna do it," I was like, "Okay, I got this. well, I'll do some research, we'll figure this out," and then let's come back and let's plan together." But I'm much more of the researcher, planner person and thinking and going, yes, we can do this. And you know, first of all, it does feel different for a man. Feels different for a man to feel like I've got this new family and I'm responsible. And that's another thing that we were that I was determined to represent differently to our children.

This was going to be much more of a co-parenting, there isn't a hierarchy, and that might have been a little different 20 years ago too, just so you know. Yeah. Right. So that was important. And then, so we were gonna co-do everything and have that alignment. So, like I was saying, if he was here, it probably was a little scarier to him and that's because he hadn't had that experience. I've left out a bit of the past where I took the year off, in my twenties in San Francisco, working, managing a restaurant, doing good, good stuff, felt good. I was about to buy a washer and dryer and that felt like responsibility. So I bought a ticket around the South Pacific. Took off, went to New Zealand crewed on a yacht from New Zealand to Australia. So I had already like had these tumbles around in experience and come on the upside. That builds confidence. So I probably came to the party in our thirties with a little bit more confidence about how this could shake out. Now, it could go dismally wrong, but my experience had dictated that I had more control of that. And I'll tell you what, Steph, here's how I come to understand it. It's a, think about it as a personal podcast, up until 40, the shoulds like you're talking about we allow somebody else to be the director, the producer, the host, decide who comes on that podcast 24 7. We invite all these people in from the past or even our current situation. Around about 40, we start taking more control of that and we start being the producer of the podcast, which changes the internal narrative and what we're believing about ourselves, that that builds confidence.

Stephanie: You talk about these tumbles you took around the world. There's a couple of ways to look at it and one of them is when you come out the other side, if things aren't already setting up to launch you in a direction, it just means you're starting again.

Terre: That's right.

Stephanie: It's not actually a huge deal. It's not the end of the world to start again.

Terre: It, it's actually just something to learn from. Right? Take it as like fuel on the fire, you know? Yeah.

Stephanie: Yeah. I did not the same kind of traveling as you, butas a, I don't know, 22 year old, I spent almost nine months living and working in Ireland as part of a study abroad program. And I just think it was one of the absolute best things I ever did in my life. We did some traveling from there, as a group, we went into Europe a couple times, a bunch of us screwed off over a little break and went to the Canary Islands for a week, which is just ridiculous. You see other things, you see how other people live. You realize that the way that was in your home growing up, is not necessarily the right or only way. Travel is a huge thing that I think opens people's eyes and minds and hearts, to the world. So you were fortunate to have those tumbles, as a young woman.

Terre: Yes, and again, it just sort of built my confidence as I went and it also fueled my wonderlust going forward. And now I'm determined to, at that age, determined to bring my children into it and help build their wonderlust, which we've been, uh, maybe too successful at that. Yeah.

Stephanie: All right, now we're moving onto the kids. As anybody listening knows, I don't have children myself, but I have plenty of nieces and nephews and cousins and friends who have kids. So, you know, I'm around it, I get a sense of it. And one of the things I think of parents is that they spend a whole lot of time wondering, am I doing everything right? Am I gonna screw these kids up? What are they gonna take from this? And here you are 20 years ago, before homeschooling, before digital nomads, before any of this, creating this amazing life of six months in two different amazing places. How were you thinking about your kids at that time? Were you wondering how it was all gonna play out?

Terre: Sure, sure. Early on I said to my husband, "Hmm, we should just make a separate therapy fund because surely it'll be needed at some point." So here's the deal: first of all, I wasn't even sure I wanted to have children. There's that, right? I was like, well, I don't know. I was on this career trajectory with Four Seasons and you know, I just, at one point I was like, and I say that because I have good friends and family members that were like, I knew I would be a great mom when I was six. And I'm like, oh, wait, what? I'm 60. I'm still not sure about it. So maybe I come to it with a different perception that, you know, I did read books, so you wanna say there aren't any books about it? I did read books, but it doesn't really matter. There's nothing that can prepare you. And so I thought, just like any adventure I've ever been on, I'm gonna go on this adventure and things are gonna go well, things are gonna go poorly, and I'm gonna keep showing up and moving in the right direction. So that's how I approached parenting as well, how we approach parenting because it's important that, again, we have that alignment in the approach. And so I guess what I'm saying is I wasn't holding onto, I'm gonna do this right. I don't actually suggest that because who knows what right is? Who determines what right is? Right? So I'm gonna do it a way and I'm gonna hope for the best and, uh, keep moving towards what we believe is the best for our children. So we did.

So the next thing you know, in the wintertime when we were back in Monterey, because we were homeschooling, we were able to go to New Zealand. My husband's family has two houses there, so we were able to go there and to travel all around, but then stay in the houses and such. And so we just kept doing what felt right and thinking that to your point, we should have the kids in school and they should be this and they should be that. And it, that did make us nervous. So we did little things along the way, we had them take the state test every year, you know, fill in all those little circles with the number two pencil so that we had assurance and in doing that stuff, they were off the charts above the hundredth percentile year over year. So we're like, okay, okay, we got this . Right. So we did things to help us to ease any concerns we had about how we were progressing and the choices that we were making.

Stephanie: So now your kids are in their mid twenties themselves, kind of where our story started with you, and you said to me that you're starting to see the result of this childhood

Terre: I have so

Stephanie: that they have.

Terre: Yeah, so much so, you know, I never pass a family on a trail that's, you know, fussing with their toddlers to keep walking, you know, one more step or whatever, without saying, stick with it. It'll pay off. You know, and some of those challenging things that might have not felt. Might have, you know, maybe they were not perceiving it the way we did. Like we thought going on this trip or doing this was a fabulous thing. And I just say, stick with it. If you know in your heart that this experience will be good for them in the long run, then stick with it. And so we did that and now, oh my gosh, they rock climb and my daughter operates a mountain bike shop. She's the manager of a mountain bike shop and our son lives this life where he goes. So that, back to that story, he's in Alaska in the summertimes and he's skiing at Alta outside of Salt Lake in the wintertime. Right. He's had a stint of Van Life, he's traveled internationally. She has, too. She was in New Zealand, Alaska, so they've understood that they have that confidence that they can do these things and then settle down if that appeals to them when and where they want to. Our daughter now is making a great life for herself with her fiance in Monterey and starting to feel like, okay, maybe a little settle time is good. Will that change? Maybe, because she knows it can, because she knows that she can move in another direction and will be successful.So that's why it's paying off in my mind. They have that confidence that the sort of the world is their oyster and they can determine how they're gonna sustain themselves. They sustain themselves. I'm super proud of that, like from the time that they were out of university, one sooner than the other. They're on their own. You know, we don't support them financially and haven't for a long time. And so I think that's part of it. Like we've gone like, yes, the world is your oyster, and you'll pay for that.

Stephanie: Right.

Terre: You know, as that unfolds, you'll be responsible for that. So I think that all that they learned along the way and the travel that they were privy to has set them up to have the confidence to build the life that they want as well.

Stephanie: That's so interesting. um, Goodness gracious, if we're still doing this in 15 years, I want to talk to them when they turn 40 because it's, it's a very interesting thought, right? It's the confidence in yourself, in your own authority, your own decisions, your own wants and ideas that many to most people come into in that period of 35 to 45, and that's what leads to these transitions and these transformations. And really starting to listen to their own inner voice and make decisions based on their own authority.

Terre: Right.

Stephanie: And I wonder your kids were given a different set of insides

Terre: Mm-hmm.

Stephanie: in their real formative years. So I wonder, and it sounds too like you and your husband aren't should-ing them so much 'cause you have an open mind as well,

Terre: Well, like I wouldn't have a leg to stand on,

right?

Stephanie: Right.

Terre: I wouldn't, because they know my story, particularly my story. He followed a much more traditional path and, you know, my break in school and so on and so forth and the travel that I did, so they know those stories and I was very authentic about what I shared and so I wouldn't have a leg to stand on to say, you can't do that, or you shouldn't do this, or whatever. I actually am able to come from a better place of, yes, and here were the struggles, here was the downside to this, and you might face that too, and you know, allow them to kind of check it out on their own.

You said something, Steph, though that I think is really important. We've both talked about how you tune into that confidence more when you're pushing up against 40. It happens well before that, so you as the auntie have the ability to influence that confidence. Mine came from my father. I was probably eight the first time I understood that he was constantly saying to me, you can do anything you put your mind to. And I held onto that. I still hold onto that. And then as I became the only skirt in the boardroom and started having experiences that were very challenging to me, I turned that into, people would say, well, you can't do that. You can't be the executive housekeeper at the only five star, five diamond hotel in all of San Francisco at the age of 25. And I started to say, "Of course I can." And so that building that confidence, without leaving the country and traveling, building that confidence in things that you do and how people support you is foundational and you play a role in some kids' lives in that manner as well.

Stephanie: Sure. This piece of confidence in building confidence, 30, 40 years ago when you were in your early twenties and a couple of years after that, when I was in my early twenties, it was a very different world than it is now. Where did you find the people who were supporting you and saying, yes you can, because you and I grew up in a much more traditional, straight laced, straightforward kind of world. Stay in your lane, stay in the box, you know, all of that stuff. Where were you finding the people who were saying, yes, you can. Obviously you had your dad, were there others?

Terre: Yeah. That's so funny because, when I think about it, I really have to just go back to telling you that I went to an all girls private school in Maryland. There were a lot of shoulds, right? I was the president of the school in senior year, so there were a lot of expectations of my next steps and my success and such. At least that's how I felt it, and so I went to California. So when you say, where did you find it? , I like literally moved 3000 miles away to abandon the shoulds. And that was the beginning of me saying, whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm gonna shake off this sense that others have such a control over my direction and I'm gonna stand alone and, and hold on, discover, and then hold on to my own sense of self. So it might have it might have been catapulted a little bit in that move across the country.

Stephanie: Yeah, for sure. I think it took me a whole lot longer to realize that sense of self, could and should be different than all the people who were providing input. Right. It's interesting, I wonder if you were so far in a hole that you had to launch all the way out 3000 miles away. Whereas, I didn't go to an all girls school I went just to a regular old city high school. Although there were plenty of shoulds 'cause I was an achiever and I'm having a hard time verbalizing it today, but I'm putting my path and your path near each other, but it was a very different world back then. I have a friend who has a daughter who's in her early twenties. She's, hmm, 20, 21, 22. So she, finished high school in Covid and then it was, you know, was she gonna go to college? And they opted not to do college right away because college was kind of a mess with Covid. And so this girl has been traveling for like three and a half years. She'll like spend oh, four months down in South America and, you know, six months over in Europe and my friend and I have talked about just what a completely different person she already is. What a completely different life she will have because she didn't just follow those steps, you know, through from, high school to college, to a job. She's on a different timeline now, a different path.

Terre: Well, and so you said this before about the travel and the difference travel makes. It's an accelerator, right? So when we talk about sense of self, travel is an accelerator. People are accelerators. So when you ask me about who I surrounded myself with, I went to a state where things were like San Francisco for Pete's sakes, well, by way of a year in Tahoe, skiing. But so many pieces, we don't have time for. Right? And that I got to Tahoe by way of Martha's Vineyard. Somewhere on Martha's Vineyard. People along the way are accelerators as well, whether it's their story that you hear, that you go, oh, wait a minute.

Here's an example. On Martha's Vineyard, everybody's going away to Killington and Stow and all those skiers over there and I'm thinking, well, where am I going? At the end of the season, everybody says, where are you headed? Where are you headed? I didn't have that answer, and I knew I didn't wanna go back to Maryland. I knew I was gonna take a break from school. I knew that was gonna be unpopular, but I wanted to go somewhere. And this gal at a party at the kind of the final hour says, well, the two most beautiful places in the United States are Martha's Vineyard and Lake Tahoe. And I'm like, all right, well I've already been to one of 'em. So within a week I was in the car driving to Lake Tahoe. And the friend of that friend that got me in that situation is still a dear friend, is one of those accelerators. I went back, to the person that I lived with, and I said, here's the crazy idea. And she's like, well, what's crazy about that? Of course you can move to Tahoe. And I was like, okay, so there are people in your life that are accelerators. And I needed that confidence in that moment with her because I still had to go back and tell my parents I was not returning to school in the next month. Not only not returning to school, but getting in my car and driving across the country

Stephanie: Right,

Terre: To nowhere, to no known destination. And with a map, not cell phone.

Stephanie: And as a single girl and before cell phones and all of those things, oh God, my father would've locked me in a room.

Terre: Well, my parents actually sent my brother along. In the final hours my brother quit school as well, and he went in his car and I went in my car and they bought us CB radios. People won't even know what that is, and chains for the car. And off we went.

Stephanie: I love that. I love that. If you can't beat 'em, join them.

Terre: That's right. But again, all of that was, all of it is like this snowball that's building, that's creating my sense of self. And in the scheme of things, at a pretty young age. The, the driving across the country, I was 20, I turned 21 in like Lake Tahoe.

Stephanie: Mm-hmm. Wow. This is such a different path than so many others that I've talked to. Which I think is why I keep tripping over myself, 'cause my brain's like trying to roll around with it and pull at different threads. So, Nope, that's not what I wanna ask. Hold on, I'm, I'm tripping on my brain here. So tell me where you are now, Terre. Where are you? Who are you? What do you do now? Does it have anything to do with any of the things you were doing then?

Terre: Mm. Ish . So I'm very much committed to, as I like to say, bringing out the brilliance of others. And so my commitment is helping others develop that sense of self, and not to have to wait until they're even 40 or 50. Right?

I believe you can be sage at any age. That's what I think. That's what your podcast helps people do. It helps people go, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Am I thinking about this? Not am I thinking about this right? Because who determines what's right? But I'm listening to stories and I'm considering what my options might be. And so my job now, I do coach and then I do workshops and speaking gigs all about, leadership development or individual development. I host a retreat once a year that's more about individual development and transformation. And I wrote a book about the words we choose and why that's important is that the beginning of that book is that internal narrative and the personal podcast 'cause it starts there. You cannot say your life will be different in five years, 10 years until you start taking more control of that internal narrative and you decide which stories no longer serve you and which stories do, and then you elaborate on those and you move in the direction of where you wanna be.

Stephanie: Yeah, yeah, for sure. There's a word that I deal with on a regular basis. I don't think I've talked about this in a while, but I have chronic Lyme Disease and it affects me in x, y, z ways, and I have to make sure that I, I don't say I suffer from chronic Lyme Disease. Instead, I say, I manage a chronic disease. Right? Because I don't ever wanna tell my body or my subconscious that we're a victim or we're suffering.

Terre: That's

Stephanie: I wanna show myself as active and in the driver's seat. And so

Terre: Absolutely.

Stephanie: and that, so that's the kind of stuff.

Terre: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You know, that's no different than when we talk about emotions and people are better even with their children these days, to getting them to identify and label their emotions, which is great, except that oftentimes that comes out as, I am angry or I am frustrated. And that's not true. That's not, it's not I am. It's that I feel angry

Stephanie: mm-hmm.

Terre: I feel frustrated. It's the same thing as you're saying. It's, it's great to label and then move on. How you label is important as well, and how you put that out there or put it into your internal narrative and out in the universe.

Stephanie: Right, right. Oh, Terre, we could keep going I think you've got more stories that I want to hear and more wisdom that I wanna learn, but I don't wanna monopolize your entire day. Because you do work with these topics and you help people build that confidence. Do you want to tell us a little bit about where people can find you?

Terre: Oh, absolutely. So the company is Thriving Leader Collaborative, so it's thriving leader collaborative.com. And you can reach me at Terre spelled oddly, t e r r e. At thriving lc.com and I'd love for listeners to reach out. I'm happy to tell more of my story and I'm in it to benefit others and help others be like, you know, turning 60 , that is a big deal. And so what can I give back is the place that I'm in now.

Stephanie: Great. Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me today, Terre, and for being so generous with your story.

Terre: It's been my honor. Thank you, Steph.

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